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Effect of Grape Seed Proanthocyanidin Extracts on Methylmercury-Induced Neurotoxicity in Rats

Yang, Haibo, Xu, Zhaofa, Liu, Wei, Wei, Yangang, Deng, Yu, Xu, Bin
Biological trace element research 2012 v.147 no.1-3 pp. 156-164
neurotoxicity, glutathione, humans, malondialdehyde, glutaminase, glutamine, reactive oxygen species, superoxide dismutase, glutamate-ammonia ligase, cerebral cortex, glutathione peroxidase, glutamic acid, homeostasis, intraperitoneal injection, grape seeds, methylmercury compounds, antioxidant activity, apoptosis, rats
As a highly toxic environmental pollutant, methylmercury (MeHg) can cause neurotoxicity in animals and humans. Considering the antioxidant property of grape seed proanthocyanidin extracts (GSPE), this study was aimed to evaluate the effect of GSPE on MeHg-induced neurotoxicity in rats. Rats were exposed to MeHg by intraperitoneal injection (4, 12 μmol/kg, respectively) and GSPE was administered by gavage (250 mg/kg) 2 h later. After a 4-week treatment, phosphate-activated glutaminase, glutamine synthetase, glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase activities, glutamate, glutamine, malondialdehyde and glutathione contents in cerebral cortex were measured. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and apoptosis were also estimated in cells. The results showed that the MeHg-induced neurotoxicity was significantly attenuated. GSPE significantly decreased the production of ROS, counteracted oxidative damage and increased the antioxidants and antioxidant enzymes activities in rats prior to MeHg exposure. Moreover, the effects on the rate of apoptotic cells and the disturbance of glutamate homeostasis were correspondingly modulated. These observations highlighted the potential of GSPE in offering protection against MeHg-induced neurotoxicity.